Toxicological Evaluation of Nelumbo Nucifera Fruit Ethanol Extract
Nelumbo nucifera fruit (NNF) is frequently used for the treatment of many diseases in Asian countries without proper scientific evidence of its safety. The purpose of this study was to determine the toxicological effects of NNF. Toxicity study was conducted on 28 male Wister rats weighing 180-230 g that were allocated equally to 4 treatment groups; a control and 3 test groups. Parameters assessed were clinical signs, body weight, hematology, blood biochemistry and histopathology after administration of NNF to rats for 13 weeks. No major toxicity was revealed throughout the study, though some biochemical changes were observed in hepatic and renal tissues but these changes did not correspond with histopathology findings. There was no mortality and evidence of systemic toxicity following 13 weeks administration of NNF. Hematology and blood biochemistry did not reveal any toxicity at any dose; however, histopathological evaluation of hepatic tissues of few animals treated with 200 mg/kg showed areas of necrosis at lesser extent in few animals after 13 weeks exposure of fruit. Histopathology of renal tissues of group treated with 200 mg/kg revealed areas of moderate tubular disruption and few foci of tubular necrosis. Although only few adverse effects were observed but NNF administration if necessary for a prolonged period, then it may be used in a dose rage of 50-100 mg/kg in order to avoid intractable effects. Additional studies are required to clinically evaluate the safety profile of NNF.